The series ultimately aired on 28 January 2007 and concluded on 4 March 2007 with 6 episodes. The specials Top Gear of the Pops (16 March 2007) and Polar Challenge Special (25 July 2007) were broadcast afterwards.
|74||Series 9 Episode 1||28 January 2007||Jamie Oliver|
Main Review: The Jaguar XKR goes against the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Although the Aston is better in some parts, Clarkson claims that the Jaguar is better in other places, although it doesn't have that £73,000 feel for a high-performance luxury sports coupé with a nearly decade-old engine. Lap time: 1:34.7 in "very, very, very" wet conditions.
News: The description of Hammond's infamous crash in the Vampire.
Challenge: The presenters decide that the duration of road repairs is appalling, especially since you never see roadworkers actually working. So they decide to take matters into their own hands and resurface a stretch of the D5481 (sic) near Bidford-on-Avon themselves, to prove that work which normally takes up a week can be done in 24 hours. It falls apart quickly, as May's sense of direction causes traffic mishaps, 1984-like speeches from Clarkson, tarmac supply issues (which include a cameraman accidentally pressing the emergency stop at the quarry), bad weather, and Mrs. Thatcher speeches blaring out in the late-night/early-morning period cause problems, but the road gets finished by the 9:07 a.m. deadline.
Star in a Reasonably-Priced car: Jamie Oliver, 1:47.7 during wet conditions. Upon hearing that the slush would garner him a 4 second handicap, Oliver moved his time magnet above fellow chef and rival Gordon Ramsey.
|75||Series 9 Episode 2||4 February 2007||Hugh Grant|
Challenge: May attempts to take the Bugatti Veyron to its top speed on Volkswagen's Ehra-Lessien test track. May managed to get the Bugatti to 407 km/h (253 mph), later describing how smoothly the car behaved at those speeds and how disorienting the speed can be (he said that he wanted to open the door, but "fortunately I looked at the speedometer and I was still doing 70").
News: Clarkson, Hammond and May discuss Porsche's new Cayenne, what the TVR house band sounds like, and why Prince Charles has lined his garage with petrol. Also, why undertakers will soon be out of business. The boys discuss their best and worst drives of the last six months, Clarkson was impressed with the Lexus GS hybrid and disappointed with the Volkswagen Golf GT (1.4 litre supercharged and turbocharged), calling it "as smooth as falling down stairs while wearing leg calipers." Hammond was impressed with the Volvo C30 T5 and disappointed with the ugly Subaru B9 Tribeca, May was impressed with Suzuki Swift Sport and disappointed with the sporty Bentley Arnage T.
Review: The team were set the challenge of finding the best stylish coupés: Clarkson chose the revised Audi TT, Hammond chose the old Mazda RX-8 and May chose the new Alfa Romeo Brera. After taking them to the golf course (they were asked to leave after the 3rd hole because they were too slow), they took them to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to get expert opinions. Each of the presenters had 2 minutes to persuade 3 art professors that their car deserved a place in the museum. The professors opted for the Brera. Hammond decided that they were wrong and that the argument would be settled with a classic "Which one is the fastest?". After the Stig drove them round the track, the Audi TT came in at 1.31.4, the Mazda RX-8 in 1.32.0 and the Brera in 1.36.9. When Clarkson noticed that he had won, he said that he preferred the Brera all along, and the others concurred. But, as it is an Alfa, none of the three could recommend it. Clarkson closed by saying "The best car here is also the worst!"
Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car: Hugh Grant, 1.47.7.
|76||Series 9 Episode 3||11 February 2007|
The trio point out the hassle of renting out a car, ranging from ignorant rental agents to not being able to find their car once it's pointed out to them. Their premise was to see if it could be cheaper to buy a car rather than rent so, as a result, on their trip to the United States, the three were given $1000 to find a used car. Clarkson bought a 1991 Chevrolet Camaro RS; Hammond a Dodge Ram 150 pickup truck; and May a 1989 Cadillac Brougham.
Challenge 1 (Fastest Race Track Lap): At the Moroso Motorsports Park, the 3 cars had to complete the track length in the quickest time possible. Though, with no Stig in America, they had to do with the Stig's American counterpart; a rather more obese version of the British original, dubbed Big Stig by the hosts. Clarkson's Camaro was quickest, and surprisingly May's Cadillac beat the pickup truck.
Challenge 2 (0 mph-50 mph-0 mph): At a drag strip in the heart of Florida, they all had to reach 50 mph and brake as soon as they got to the speed. Ahead of them was a river, with a selection of Alligators. The closest to the watery grave was, yet again, Hammond, for failing to look up when he reached 50 mph and poor brakes.
Challenge 3 (Roadkill): Each presenter was given money to buy a present for their car, Hammond brought a grill, Clarkson brought a shower and May brought a shirt rack, they were then told that they would be camping that night and dinner was whatever they could find at the side of the road. Clarkson found a possum but May ran over it then found a tortoise but refused to run it over and set it back in a nearby swamp. Hammond found a squirrel which was collected and spent a while trying to figure out how he would "peel" it. As Hammond and May set up camp, Clarkson went to look for more roadkill; he came back with an entire cow which he said he didn't run over, which May refused to eat. During the night Clarkson and Hammond successfully destroyed the Cadillac's air conditioning.
Challenge 4 (Car decorating): The team had to decorate each other's cars with slogans which might lead to them getting shot at in Alabama. May painted pro-homosexual slogans on Hammond's car ("Man-love rules OK"), Hammond painted "Country and Western is Rubbish" on Clarkson's, and Clarkson painted "Hillary for President, "NASCAR sucks" and "I'm bi" on May's car. All three offended locals, and led to both the presenters and the crew members being chased out of town by friends of a gas station owner, who pelted the crew's vans with rocks, leading to a mad dash to wipe the paints off the cars.
Challenge 5 (Sell car): The team were originally going to sell the cars in New Orleans, and the winner would be whoever made the most profit. However, after seeing the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, the team decided to give away the cars for free to a Christian mission. However, while Clarkson's and Hammond's were given away, James May was declared the loser as he was unable to find any claimants for his car. Also, a lawyer threatened to sue Clarkson for misrepresentation after she heard the car wasn't a 1991 Camaro (it was a 1989 model) and would drop the suit on payment of US$20,000.
Final results: Clarkson declared himself the winner and declared May the loser, although no points were given. They concluded that it was viable to buy, rather than rent, a car. Clarkson summed up the trip with his long-held opinion: "Don't go to America!"
Similar to the credits of the 2007 Polar Challenge Special and Series 10 Episode 4, other than the four main presenters (who are credited as Cletus Clarkson, Earl Hammond Jr., Ellie May May, and Roscoe P. Stig), each crew member name is listed with the words "Billy Bob" attached to the start, a reference to the American redneck stereotype.
|77||Series 9 Episode 4||18 February 2007||Simon Pegg|
Review: Clarkson looks at the already monstrous SL 65 AMG with a 6.0L twin-turbo V12, and then sees what a modifying company has been able to do with it. The result is the Brabus S Biturbo roadster, with 730 bhp, 811 ft-lb of torque, and an electronically limited top speed of 219 mph. Cooking its brakes, handling with frenzied energy, and overwhelming its suspension and traction control, he finds the mad car to be virtually undrivable.|
Main review: Porsche 911 Turbo, given to Clarkson to see if it can convert him from being a lifelong Ferrari fan. While he seemed to like various details about the car, it did not.
Cool Wall: Hammond tries to add a Ducati 1098 motorcycle to the wall, which Clarkson then removes with a chainsaw, chopping off a piece of the Cool Wall in the process.
News: The boys discuss the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Mitsubishi Evo X, and the Melling Hellcat, average-speed cameras, how to cure congestion by going faster, and the 1.5 million people who have signed a petition against road pricing, as well as the website to visit to add ones name to the list, and (being the BBC) the website for those who agree with road pricing (www.iamaclot.com), and the driving test BBC employees have to take if they use hire cars.
Challenge: Hammond and May, preposterously, try to convert a Reliant Robin into a space shuttle, on the orders of 'John F. Clarkson'. They were given 12 days to build it and help from the British Amateur Rocket Society. Eight tonnes of thrust were required to launch the Robin — the largest non-commercial rocket launch undertaken in Europe. It was not intended to put a payload into any meaningful orbit, but merely to gain a few thousand feet of height and then land on a runway.
The Reliant Robin took off, everything seemed to be working until a release bolt attaching the Robin to the fuel tank failed to detach. The combined result spiraled out of control and crashed in a massive explosion on a nearby hillside.
Star in a Reasonably-Priced car: Simon Pegg, 1:48.5.
|78||Series 9 Episode 5||25 February 2007||Kristin Scott Thomas|
Public Service Video: Clarkson did a service video about Level Crossings. He showed CCTV footage of an old man jumping the light at a level crossing and put a Renault Espace on railway level crossing. The car was then destroyed by a railway locomotive crashing into it. On 1 March, 2007 a rerun the episode on BBC Two was replaced by a "Best Of Top Gear" compilation following a further level-crossing accident.
Main review: The new Lamborghini Murciélago LP640, same as the old model except with more power. The Stig took it round the track in 1:19.8, sixth place overall.
Challenge: Clarkson, Hammond and May plant their own rapeseed biofuel after acquiring three tractors to test, with a number of challenges to start:
Challenge 1: Each presenter had to start their tractor, hook up to a four-wheel trailer and reverse out of the studio's car park. May could only start his tractor, Hammond "clipped" a Vauxhall Astra "Concept Car", whilst Clarkson gave up.
Challenge 2: The Stig did laps with the unusual aim of going slower than Richard Whiteley had (Interestingly, the slowest tractor lap was 6 seconds faster than the slowest ever lap of the circuit, by one of the White Van Drivers in S01E08, who got lost).
They then cleared a field of sheep (with the help of Top Gear Dog), crossed a weak bridge (which Clarkson broke) and ploughed, with the aid of judges. Then after lunch (with chaos in the local village) and grew petrol (which was revealed as diesel used in the Britcar 24 Hour race)
News: Hammond and May ridicule Clarkson for wearing a suit on the day that his crush, Kristin Scott Thomas, is in the studio. The results of the Top Gear Survey are revealed, with French cars holding the rest of the table up.
Star In A Reasonably Priced Car: Actress Kristin Scott Thomas. Clarkson asked her opinion on some cars to put on the cool wall, she said Clarkson's new Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder was "pathetic". Scott Thomas completed her lap in 1:54 minutes.
|79||Series 9 Episode 6||4 March 2007||Billie Piper|
Review: Richard Hammond test drives the latest Shelby Mustang GT500. Hammond suggests that the 500 horsepower rating of the car as indicated in its name is exaggerated. He has it tested on a portable wheel dynamometer which yields 447 horsepower. He also put his own classic Mustang GT390 on the dyno and it had 250 RWHP. The biggest problem with the car, however, is the unaltered suspension with a live axle.|
Challenge: Clarkson, Hammond and May build stretch limos to drive celebrities to the BRIT Awards. Clarkson buys a Fiat Panda to chauffeur BBC Radio 1's Chris Moyles, hindered by its length making it nearly impossible to manoeuvre around the city, and it splitting in half where Clarkson had shortened the car to make it road-legal. Hammond buys a MG F and, after it is stretched into a limo, has to take Jamelia to the BRIT Awards. May buys a Saab 9000 and an Alfa Romeo 164, the two of which are conjoined into a limo, his case being a choice between "Sensible Swedish," and "Fiery Italian." He has to take Lemar to the BRIT Awards in the "Alfaab." May gets lost and Lemar ends up an hour late so he leaves.
Star In A Reasonably Priced Car: Actress Billie Piper, who posted a 1:48.3 around the track, until it was revealed that she had actually cut the hammerhead on the lap. However, since she was wearing a see-through top, Jeremy couldn't bring himself to actually apply the two-second penalty.
|Top Gear of the Pops||16 March 2007|
A special edition of Top Gear was recorded for Red Nose Day 2007 called Top Gear of the Pops. It featured performances by Lethal Bizzle (for all of 20 seconds before Jeremy Clarkson, who had dubbed him "Jizzy Tissue", disabled the speakers), Travis, Supergrass (with guest Adrian Edmonson on guitar) and McFly, the latter of whom were challenged to write a song containing the words "sofa", "administration" and "Hyundai" and without "love", "baby" and "heart", which they achieved by incorporating the nonsensical refrain "Sofa, Hyundai, administration". Also included was a brief roundup of the previous week's top 5 singles ("The show was recorded live last Sunday", according to May, who was prevented from completing the top five countdown by Clarkson unplugging the studio monitor) and the news combined cars with the line-ups for forthcoming music festivals. The show concluded with a cover of the Billy Ocean song Red Light Spells Danger with Justin Hawkins singing as Jeremy played drums, James played keyboard and Hammond took on bass. The Cool Wall was listed as a feature of the show in publicity but did not appear.
|Polar Challenge Special||25 July 2007|
In April-May 2007, Clarkson and May teamed up to race Hammond from Resolute, Nunavut to the Magnetic North Pole, taking the route set out in the Polar Challenge. The terrain in between is some of the toughest in the world - a mix of mountainous land masses and jagged sea ice where temperatures can drop to minus 65 degrees Celsius (minus 85 degrees Fahrenheit). Jeremy and James used a specially adapted Toyota Hilux pick-up truck, while Richard used a sled pulled by a team of ten Canadian Inuit dogs, driven by American explorer Matty McNair. In the end the truck won, although the sled overtook them at one point while they were crossing the first of two fields of ice boulders.
In the show's credits each crew member had their firstname replaced with "Sir Ranulph" in homage to Sir Ranulph Fiennes (e.g. Sir Ranulph Clarkson).
This was the first, and currently only, episode of Top Gear to be shown in high-definition.